C-Store Exec Ascends at Kroger
Ellis to succeed Dillon as supermarket, convenience retailer announces succession plan
CINCINNATI -- The Kroger Co. has announced that Michael L. Ellis, 55, will be named president and chief operating officer, effective Jan. 1, 2014, completing the succession plan announced in September. Ellis has been serving in his current role as senior vice president of retail divisions since 2012, where he leads five retail supermarket divisions, plus Kroger's jewelry and convenience store businesses.
In September, Kroger announced its board's long-term CEO succession plan. David B. Dillon, 62, Kroger's chairman and CEO, will retire as CEO on Jan. 1 and will continue to serve as chairman through Dec. 31, 2014. W. Rodney McMullen, 53, Kroger's president and COO, will become CEO on Jan. 1.
"Mike's broad-based experience on both the food and general merchandise sides of our business make him a great fit for this role," said Dillon. "Mike is a team builder who will be a great partner with our entire leadership team. We look forward to his dynamic leadership of Kroger's diverse operations."
"Mike has been a key player in our strategic efforts for many years, including the expansion of Fred Meyer's general merchandising expertise throughout the company and, more recently, our accelerated growth plan," said McMullen. "His extensive knowledge spans our multiple formats and unique approaches to merchandising. Mike's insistence on operational excellence and his willingness to push boundaries to improve the customer experience will ensure Kroger continues to grow and deliver shareholder value. Above all else, Mike brings a contagious enthusiasm for our associates and putting the customer first."
Ellis is a 38-year Kroger veteran. He joined Fred Meyer in 1975 as a parcel clerk at age 16, and went on to serve in a series of operations and merchandising leadership positions in stores, division management and as a corporate officer. He was vice president of Fred Meyer's food group before joining Kroger as a senior officer in 2004. He returned to lead Fred Meyer as president in 2006, where he significantly improved and sustained associate engagement. Ellis played an influential role in the growth of the company's successful Marketplace store format, which offers a wide assortment of general merchandise including home goods, toys and apparel in addition to full-service grocery and pharmacy departments.
Cincinnati-based Kroger is the nation's largest traditional grocery retailer, with more than 2,400 supermarkets and multi-department stores in 31 states under two-dozen local banners, including Kroger, City Market, Dillons, Jay C, Food 4 Less, Fred Meyer, Fry's, King Soopers, QFC, Ralphs and Smith's.
The company currently operates more than 900 supermarket fuel centers and about 780 c-stores in 18 states: Pueblo, Colo.-based Loaf 'N Jug in Colorado, New Mexico, Nebraska, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wyoming; Lancaster, Pa.-based Turkey Hill Minit Markets in Pennsylvania; Crestview, Fla.-based Tom Thumb Food Stores in Florida and Alabama; Hutchinson, Kansas-based Kwik Shop in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska; Fremont Calif.-based Quik Stop Markets in California and Nevada, and Salt Lake City-based Smith's Express in Utah.